Sep 11

First planet candidates discovered by "Planet Hunters"

Source: Planet Hunters

Thanks to all collaborators hard work at planethunters.org - a first paper was submitted to an astronomical journal, and it is now nearly through the referee process. The findings can be seen in detail in the paper titled "Planet Hunters: Two Planet Candidates Discovered by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data" which you can read at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.4621

After careful analysis and follow-up observations with the Keck telescope in Hawaii, the Planet Hunters team sent the top 10 candidates found from your classifications of the Quarter 1 data to the Kepler team. With their help, it has been determined that two of the ten met their criteria for being classified as planet candidates.

If you're lucky enough to be one of the people who marked a transit, then your name is in the paper - the rest of you will find yourselves on the extended author list at http://planethunters.org/authors.

In other news, the Kepler team announced (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-Q3release.html) that the next public release of data has been moved up from June 2012 to right now. Quarter 3 is an extra 90 days of light curves, nearly doubling the time baseline we have available for all the Kepler stars - meaning you can find even longer period planets hidden in the data. We're already working on getting this data to you, but in the mean time, there’s still lots of Quarter 2 data left to search through.

Planet Hunters is already producing fantastic results, and there is no doubt that with each new round of data, there will be more discoveries to come. Come and help the hunt for planets today: http://www.planethunters.org

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